Please browse through these frequently asked questions to find the answer to your question. Should you still need further information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org outlining your query.
Do I need planning permission to build a swimming pool?
Generally speaking, private outdoor pools do not require planning permission. However, it is essential that you check with your local authority planning department if planning approval is needed. For example, you may need planning approval if your pool will affect nearby buildings or drains. You should also consult the planning authority if your property is listed or in a conservation area. If your installation does require and gains planning approval and you subsequently decide to change the location of the pool, you must discuss the proposed change with the planning authority before building starts. If you are installing an indoor pool, you will need to apply for planning approval as changes to a property are subject to Building Regulations, therefore consent will be needed for installing a pool.
What type of pools do you design/build?
We specialise in the design and build of high-end concrete pools for private clients, hotels, hospitals, leisure operators, and schools. We offer concrete pools with tiled finishes in ceramic, porcelain or glass. We recently expanded our pool offering to include stainless steel pools, both bespoke and modular designs. We are also experts in the design and build of pools incorporating moving floors.
What is a moving/movable floor?
It is a pool built with a floor that is raised or lowered to adjust the depth of the pool water, or completely seal off the water. Some clients want a luxury pool that does not permanently occupy the space in a room or patio. When the moving floor is activated, it rises to the top of the pool, covering the water with a load-bearing floor. The space can then be used for other activity. Moving floors can be installed in tiled and stainless steel pools.
For more information on moving floors, visit our Moving Floor Pool Showcase, where you will also find further frequently asked questions.
What type of spas do you build?
We design and build a wide range of spas built with concrete, stainless steel or a GRP shell – spas are finished in mosaic tiles to reflect your taste, to match the pool and/or interior décor. Our spas are custom-made so you can have the desired number of seats and hydro massage jets you wish.
How can I be sure I have a reputable pool company?
London Swimming Pool Company is a member of SPATA, the Swimming Pool and Allied Trades Association. SPATA is the trade association for the pool industry and sets standards governing the construction and operation of pools, spas, saunas and steam rooms. All members are vetted by SPATA to ensure they are working to the Association’s high standards. For quality craftsmanship and professionalism, SPATA recommends that you select a member company for the design and build of your pool, spa, sauna and steam room.
Do you provide a warranty on the pools you build?
Yes, we do. On completion of the pool, we provide each client with the following SPATA-compliant warranties, offering clients peace of mind:
• Pool and spa structures: 12-year warranty
• Waterproofing/internal finishes: 5-year warranty
• Installed pipework: 2-year warranty
• Electrical/mechanical plant according to manufacturers’ definitions but minimum 1-year
What is an infinity pool?
An infinity edge pool is one where the water flows over one or more edges of the pool, with the water returning into the pool. Looking at the pool from the horizon, the infinity edge creates an illusion that the pool water has no boundary.
Can you build a pool in my basement?
Yes, we have extensive experience of building basement pools. If you need to maximise the space in your home, you can have a pool with a movable floor. When the pool floor is raised to deck level and the pool is fully covered, the pool room is transformed back into a room that can be used for any other activity you wish. Please take a look at a selection of basement pools in our Indoor Pool Showcase.
Can I have a pool built in any shape I want?
Yes, you can have a pool built in an unusual shape, however, do remember that you will also need to have a bespoke pool cover because ready-made pool covers are designed in conventional shapes. If you have a concept for the shape of your pool in mind, do talk to us – our design team is creative, highly skilled and loves a challenge.
Is a stainless steel pool better than a concrete pool?
The choice of a concrete or a stainless steel pool is about personal choice rather than one being better than the other. Both types of pool have much to offer. For example, with a concrete pool, you can choose a design for the pool interior that satisfies your creativity and imagination. With a stainless steel pool, you get a gleaming surface that reflects light beautifully. While you cannot personalise the interior of a stainless steel pool, you have other great benefits such as a faster build time, so you can be swimming sooner.
Is it possible to have an environmentally-friendly pool?
It certainly is and we are proud to say that we have won two awards for doing just that. We won the Energy Efficiency Award in the UK Pool & Spa Awards and the Sustainability Award in the British Pool & Hot Tubs Awards for the design and build of a pool that runs on a fraction of the cost of a more traditionally built pool. We worked closely with the client who had very specific energy efficient criteria to design and build their award winning pool.
Do you project manage the pool building process?
Yes. When we are commissioned, we work as a tight-knit team with all the parties (eg the client, architect, main contractor, interior designer, landscaper etc) contributing to the design and build of the pool.
What processes will we go through if LSPC builds our pool?
This is our process:
- At the concept stage, the project team has detailed discussions with the architect, main contractor, designer and the client (the Client Team). We produce initial concepts to take forward to a design principal, followed by a preliminary performance specification
- On commission, we consult further with the Client Team, submit detailed drawings for construction
- Detailed design proposals, with all equipment and construction materials itemised and priced individually, are submitted for approval
- When the client confirms the core concept and budget, we take full responsibility for the pool or spa project, from initial design through to construction and commissioning. We can also oversee the landscaping element if this is part of the overall brief
How long does it take to build a pool?
Timescale depends on many factors, for example, the type, size and location of the pool and in particular whether the pool is part of a wider property refurbishment. In such cases, the pool will be built in stages to fit around other construction work. If the pool is being installed at an existing property where no other construction work is taking place, the pool can be built faster. The weather can be a factor; however, we are very flexible and can work throughout inclement weather, for example, using a marquee to cover the pool construction area. To get an understanding of a possible time frame, please contact us to discuss your pool/spa project.
A stainless steel pool can be built faster than a concrete pool because there is less construction work. A straightforward installation of a stainless steel pool from our Classic Modular range can take as little as six weeks to build.
Do you provide the landscaping to complement an outdoor pool installation?
We do not offer a landscaping service but we have excellent working relationships with landscape gardeners such as Katja Griffiths who provide creative practical solutions.
How long can I expect my pool to last?
Built by a reputable company and then properly maintained and serviced, a swimming pool should last you a lifetime. Professional pool servicing is important to keep your pool in peak condition and ensure its longevity. Many years from installation, when interiors and personal taste move on, we can refurbish your pool to bring it bang up to date.
Do you build pools throughout the UK?
We have a wide range of clients, many located in London and the Home Counties, but have worked further afield including overseas. We are always happy to hear about your pool and project, no matter where you are located, so please do contact us.
What happens to the materials removed from pools that you refurbish?
Any materials that can be re-used, such as stainless steel, are recycled. All other materials are disposed of professionally and safely in accordance with industry guidelines.
POOL ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL SYSTEMS
How important is energy efficiency in pool environmental control?
Most responsible pool owners, both residential and commercial, now completely understand the need for their pools to be as energy efficient as possible. In fact, the latest pool industry survey states that energy saving is the most important factor to customers purchasing new pools.
Not only is energy efficiency socially responsible for the benefit of the planet and future generations but it has huge financial implications in saving costs. In addition, there is now a further very important reason why energy efficiency is critical to pool systems. That is the necessity to comply with the increasing number and complexity of UK building regulations.
What features would the ultimate energy efficient pool contain?
Leaving aside for a moment the physical elements of the building’s energy efficiency in terms of construction, the key features for ultimate energy efficiency lie within the choice of environmental control unit installed to manage the pool’s air and water environments.
Key features to look for in the ultimate energy efficient pool environmental control system include humidity control, energy recovery, fresh air and variable rate ventilation, mechanical cooling and renewable energy heating solutions. More specifically:
- Integral dual function dehumidifying and expelled room air heat pumps
- Active heat recycling into room air and pool water via a dehumidifier
“Blue EC” ultra-efficient digital inverter fan system. Against the consideration that the permanent operation of large air fan motors may represent the largest single consumer of energy within a pool complex, the best units employ a very special type of digital fan to offer the highest possible energy efficiency and therefore, the lowest operating cost of any such system. The digital fan uses a directly driven, backward curved, centrifugal impeller, which features a DC motor coupled to an AC inverter.
All these essential energy saving features, which the ultimate energy efficient pool would contain, can be found in the Heatstar range of environmental control systems.
What are the key design considerations?
The biggest single factor, as discussed previously, in the ultimate energy efficient pool is the installation of a state of the art environmental control system. The key design consideration for environmental control system units is “flexibility”. Whether it is a new build or a retrofit/refurb each unit should be able to be tailor-made to the precise individual requirements of the application, obviating the need to under or oversize performance aspects or tolerate inappropriate equipment room layout.
Dehumidification rates, air flows and heating duties should all be specified individually to give a completely balanced highly effective system operating at ideal efficiency.
The position of the control panel, pipes, air duct spigots and maintenance access should also all be orientated during manufacture to accommodate the ideal equipment room layout. For retrofit and refurbishment applications, units should be custom-made as necessary to accommodate existing services and plant space restrictions.
What equipment should be specified and why?
No two pool installations are the same and one of the key factors in environmental control is to specify exactly what each installation uniquely requires to operate at its ultimate energy efficiency.
It is important to choose an environmental system manufacturer that offers an expert product selection and application assessment without charge or obligation. It is also essential to specify a company that can provide full calculations and product specifications which include energy use and savings assessments for each individual project. These services are provided by Heatstar including an on-site survey service where required for existing indoor pools.
Are there any pitfalls to avoid?
Today it is more important than ever to ensure that any pool installation complies with all UK building regulations requirements.
Ensuring compliance with all the latest rules on energy efficiency standards can be a minefield. Heatstar is a company which has invested in research and development to take advantage of energy-saving advances in materials, systems, and technology. Added to this they have an ability to anticipate the criteria being set by the government to save energy and reduce the industry’s carbon footprint.
At London Swimming Pool Company we specialise in swimming pool design and construction in London and Surrey, so if you are looking to create the swimming pool of your dreams, please email us.